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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Celtics prepare to prove critics wrong

Published: October 21, 2005
Section: Sports

After losing Antoine Walker and Gary Payton this off-season, many thought that the young Boston Celtics had no chance to repeat as division champions. The Celtics never got the memo. At the Celtics Media Day several weeks ago, coach Doc Rivers and executive Danny Ainge expressed nothing but confidence in their team.

Rivers talked about how his players will get opportunities this year regardless of their previous experience and age. I dont want my young guys thinking being young is a crutch, Rivers said.

One thing Rivers hopes to have this year that he didnt last year is a set starting point guard and a backup. He wants everybody to know their role and be ready to accomplish it.

Rivers also believes that second year forward Al Jefferson is ready to take on a large role.

Jefferson told reporters that he spent the summer working on conditioning and a mid-range shot. He understands the game better and is ready to improve.

Another theme of the Media Day was leadership. While many are looking to Paul Pierce to step up as a leader, Ainge felt that Every person on a team is a leader.

While the Celtics may be young and inexperienced, that does not bother the team brass or Rivers. We dont mind the projections, we just have to live by them, Rivers stated.